Disaster! Charter company goes belly up!

Posted by on May 18, 2011

As I write this everything is settled, and XTsea is under the management of Cumberland Charter Yachts, but for a while there it was hard to get a good night’s sleep.  Whitsunday Private Yacht Charters closed their doors early in May.  Finances are still yet to be confirmed, but the company is being handled by receivers.  All our forward bookings were cancelled, and we have probably lost amounts owing to us for the last couple of months.

Colleen did an amazing job of sorting out issues, and we both flew up to Airlie on the weekend to meet with prospective charter companies and sort out the boat.  Unfortunately the starboard holding tank had blocked at the end of the last charter, and the boat had been left in that state for a couple of weeks.  Pee-yew!

We had a few companies to choose from, but decided to go with CCY as they had fewer 1160’s in their existing fleet.  Please feel free to visit the link on the right, and be sure to book a holiday!!

Now to talk about the holding tank.  The tank was full, and would not drain, so we borrowed an adapter and took XTsea across to the fuel dock, and sucked as much out as we could.  Then it was back to the pen for the rest of the job.  For some reason, Seawind decided that it would be a good idea to have a 90 degree elbow underneath the upper ball valve.  Why not a straight-through??!?

I cut through all the pipes leading into the holding tank, and then tried to remove the outlet connector.  No good… it was siezed up solidly.  Eventually I lifted the tank out of the tray, and was able to unscrew the assembly.  As the assembly got close to the end of the thread, I called out to Colleen to stand by for some bad times, and to man the manual bilge pump.  Slosh!!!  Ten litres of stink flowed into the bilge, and Colleen pumped like mad to deal with it.

I lifted the tank out through the boat and got it on to the marina arm before it stunk out the boat too much.  After a bit of work the tank was clear of the calcified matter and ready for re-installaton.  I replaced the original brass ball valve with a plastic one, and managed to eliminate the elbow in the re-assembly process.  Colleen was pleased with how easily the upper ball valve works now.  I used boiling water and a bit of detergent to slip the new hoses on to the fittings, and double hose-clamps on each fitting.  Seawind look to have used a sealant originally as well, but I was advised by the chandlery guys not to bother.  Colleen then cleaned up the floor of the head, and I decided to clean the mascerator as well so that everything is ship-shape.

We bumped into a foursome who were taking out the Seawind 1000 next door (‘Don Gato”) for a charter.  Nice people (Greg, Geoff, Joan and Kerry?) who invited us over for drinkies.  We probably stunk, but they put up with us well.  We showed them through XTsea, and they seemed impressed.  Maybe they will take out an 1160 next time.  Hope you had a good trip guys!!

Early flight out of Mackay the next morning, so we hit the showers and cleaned up.  After a meal (nice, but expensive!) at the re-opened ‘Sorrento’ at the top of the marina http://www.sorrentowhitsunday.com/ we hit the sack early.  Up at 6am, on the road by 6:30, and into Mackay airport in plenty of time.

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